About Mamoru Oshii

Mamoru Oshii

Born August 8, 1951

Mamoru is a critically acclaimed Japanese filmmaker, director, screenwriter and storyteller. His unique ability to intertwine philosophy into storytelling has earned him international praise.
Although Mamoru is most well known for his work in directing Ghost In The Shell, he's also credited with creating the first ever OVA (Original Video Animation).

Mamoru Oshii has labelled his own style as 'directly contrasting the Hollywood formula' - He believes that visuals are the most important aspect, followed by story and finally characters. His work varies from the manga it is often adapted from as he opts to remove the comedic aspects of the original work to make way for a darker undertone to the story. Oshii is also known to push the boundaries of the medium's he is working with - in order to create immersive and visually stunning films.

The Journey

The Early Years
Mamoru began his career as a storyboard artist for Tatsunoko Productions, working on Ippatsu Kanta-Kun (Homerun Kanta). However in 1980 he moved to Studio Pierrot where he would make his directorial debut with Urusei Yatsura. Following the success of the series, Mamoru directed two films Urusei Yatsura: Only You and Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer. Beautiful Dreamer is now widely popularised as the birth of his style of storytelling.

Independent Work
After the success of Urusei Yatsura, and while still working at Studio Pierrot, Oshii began working independently on Dallos. Dallos would become known as the first ever OVA, a Japanese film made for home-video release without prior showing in theatres or on television.

Headgear & Live Action
Oshii joined studio Headgear as a director where he went on to produce the Patlabor TV series, OVA and several feature films. During breaks in production for Patlabor Oshii focused his attention on live action work, creating The Red Spectacles & Stray Dog - the beginning of the Kerberos Saga.

Ghost In The Shell
In 1995 he would go on to create his most well-known work, later labelled as a 'masterpiece'. Ghost In The Shell became the first ever anime to reach the top of the US billboard video charts, it also achieved mainstream success across Europe.

Hiatus & Present Works
After the successful release of Ghost In The Shell Oshii would take a 5 year Hiatus from directing so that he could focus his attention on other projects. After this Hiatus he completed a sequel to Ghost In The Shell (Innocence) and continued work on both animation and live-action films.

Key Works


Ippatsu Kanta-kun

Storyboard Artist | Director

Employed as a storyboard artist and later becoming a director, Mamoru begain his career by working on this series. The series ran for 53 episodes, in which Mamoru made his directorial debut.


Urusei Yatsura

Director | Chief Director | Storyboard Artist
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Following up earlier works Mamoru served as chief director and storyboard artist. Urusei Yatsura can be seen as the beginning of widespread success for Mamoru. Mamoru is credited as chief director for 106 episodes and two movies. The second movie, 'Beutiful Dreamer' is seen as the birth of what would later be known as Mamoru's signature style.



Director | Writer | Creator
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Producing 5 episodes between 1983 and 1984 this Sci-Fi animation begun the trend of OVA (direct-to-dvd) in Japan. Working alongside Studio Pierrot and Hisayuki Toriumi this series achieved success in Japan before later being released to the USA.



Director | Writer

Released during Japanese economic downturn this was released on several mediums including Manga, OVA, Light novel and feature-length film. Mamoru served as director and writer of the OVA episodes as well as director of the first two feature-films.


The Red Spectacles

Director | Writer
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This is the first live-action feature film production by Mamoru as well as the first of his Kerberos Saga. This Military sci-fi saga drew influence from Oshii's love for European cinema. It was released to cinema and later DVD in Japan, and released as a triology box set in the USA.


Ghost In The Shell

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The most well-known of works produced by Oshii, Ghost In The Shell was an animated feature-film that achieved international success and critical acclaim. It is widely considered one of the greatest animated films ever made and is Oshii's most highly regarded film. It's cult following has lead to a sequel, re-release and the production of a live-action movie.

Full List Of Works

A detailed overview of the works produced throughout Oshii's career.

click here to see the full list